Easter Traditions for Two

If you celebrate Easter, what are your traditions? How have they changed over the years? What do you do now that is fun and meaningful for you that is a recent tradition? Do you find yourself missing loved ones who are not at your table this year? Does your world feel smaller or have traditions that don’t seem to fit the way they once did? Holidays have a way of making the heart long for loved ones and good times gone by. Holidays seem to sharpen the pain of missing others. But let’s not stop there.

I grew up enjoying our family dinners on Easter Sunday. After going to church as a family, dressed up in our new Easter outfits, my mom provided a lovely meal and included some relatives or friends. I carry those fond memories with me to this day, and always miss my parents, especially at holiday times. Thinking back as I write almost puts me in the mood to make a molded jello salad. Almost.

When I married and lived far from my hometown, I spent Easter Sunday dinners with my in-laws. Those times also provide sweet memories of good family fun, such watching young nephews gather eggs from the hunt. We even had an earthquake one year! I still treasure all the rich memories of the past. The family has grown through marriages, relocation, and the arrival of grandchildren. Our get-togethers are more spread out. Yet we make it work.

Traditions bring meaning to our lives. They anchor us in a sense of belonging. Circumstances shift and create opportunities for different Easter Sundays and new memories. Change comes along and invites itself in. Loss and separation flicker in hearts at the holidays, shining a quiet light on pain residing there. When change collides with tradition, we recognize that traditions need to bend. Flexibility is key to joy, especially during this pandemic. Flexibility can permit traditions to get a makeover that welcomes new happy moments.

In addition, Easter Sundays are busy days for many, too. We often help out at our local church until early afternoon. My husband now works on staff at our church, so Easter Sunday is a long day. We still find ways to still enjoy this special and important holiday through good food, conversation, and connection.

At our house, our immediate family is a party of two. I like the traditional Easter dinner, but that looks different now. I am a casual cook and have no interest in preparing a full meal, especially for just the two of us. I look for an easier way.

This Easter, I ordered two “Dinners-to-Go” Easter meals from Alicia’s Cookery & Catering in Brea, California. I picked up the meals Saturday in the early afternoon. What a great dinner for just us two, especially since I am a non-ambitious cook! Here’s what this year’s meal included:

  • Fresh Fruit & Cheese
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Carrot & Dill Soup
  • Springtime Salad
  • Honey Glazed Spiral Ham
  • Cheesy Potato Hash
  • Grilled Veggies
  • Artisan Rolls (2)
  • Strawberry Crème Easter Cupcake, Carrot Orange Cookie, & Snoball Cookie

What I loved about this Easter dinner:

  1. The food was delicious, interesting, and packaged so nicely.
  2. The serving portions were generous.
  3. All I had to do was set the table, heat the items we wanted to be served hot, and plate the food.
  4. The meal was ready in about 15-minutes, saving time and energy for other things.
  5. Clean-up was minimal following the meal since Alicia’s did all the cooking.
  6. I split the food into three different meals: Easter dinner (ham, potatoes, grilled veggies, rolls, and shared one of the salads and a deviled egg), a light supper (fruit, cheese, water crackers, and shared the second deviled egg), and another meal for later this week (soup, the other rolls, and the other salad).
  7. Once I calculated what it might have cost me in time and money for shopping for and preparing a homemade meal, I thought the price was fair. Plus, dividing it into three meals for two people really made the price reasonable.
  8. My leftovers will provide lunch for me this week.
  9. Ordering meals is a great way to enjoy good food for just two people or a single person. It was tasty and convenient with great leftovers. A single meal could also be shared with two people.
  10. A cupcake and two cookies were included in each meal. The desserts lasted several meals, too.
Desserts and two rolls…

The timing worked out, too. In years gone by, Easter dinner was reserved for right after church on Sunday. That just doesn’t work for us anymore. Easter Sundays are long and packed with church responsibilities. This year we were able to enjoy a traditional Easter dinner on Saturday at 3:00PM as an easy alternative. My husband then went to church to help out with the Saturday 5PM service. This worked out well in a relaxing way.

Easter dinner 2021

Another option, depending on pandemic restrictions, is to dine out. For the past couple of years, prior to the pandemic, we’d leave church around 2PM, tired, and ready to eat. Our local family had already eaten. My husband and I headed out to BJ’s Restaurant for a relaxed meal. We never have to wait to be seated. The crowds have thinned out by then. We plop down in a comfortable booth, order, and enjoy a relaxed meal served by someone else. And cleaned up by others, too. My husband usually orders the prime rib. I like to order a mini Sweet Pig pizza and salad. We split a Pizookie. It is also fun to be in a busy dining room with other people out having a good time together.

Delicious!
We like a peanut butter cookie Pizookie.

These new traditions are so different from my memories of Easter Sundays long ago. Yet, with an open mind and the help of prepared meals or restaurants, we eat well and enjoy the time. Maybe we even end up with time for a nap!

Stay open to new traditions, my friends!

P.S. For those without family plans on holidays, I hope this encouraged you. For single friends or those living with just one other loved one, I hope we all continue to find ways to enjoy good food and make holiday traditions meaningful. Let’s avoid comparing our situations to others. Social media is full of photos of bigger family events. We can be happy for our friends enjoying their traditions. We can remember to also find contentment with what we have, to be creative, and to look for blessings around us.

It’s Almost Halloween, So When Do You Start Christmas Fun?

It is almost Halloween. Scary, isn’t it? Time still creeps by, even in a pandemic.

O.K. Corral Museum, Tombstone, Arizona – 2019

And if it’s Halloween with all the tricks and treats, you know that it’s almost Christmas somewhere.

Sugar Cookies from Alicia’s Cookery & Catering, Brea, CA

Now I know there are some strong opinions on Christmas and timing, too. Since everything seems controversial this year, let’s add this to the mix. We each probably land somewhere different on when is too soon for Christmas or not soon enough.

Some of you (us) are already turning our thoughts toward Christmas. You know who you are. This post is specifically for you, Christmas people. I am interested in your timeline and how you are doing in this pandemic year with setting your expectations accordingly.

First of all, how do you rate yourself as a Christmas fan? On a scale of 1-10. A “1” would be someone who appreciates usually getting the day off, but that’s about it. You might be a “10” if:

  • Your home, once decorated, looks like Hallmark used it as a set for one of their Christmas movies.
  • You go to Disneyland (if you are local) multiple times during the season (years when it is open – boo, hoo).
  • You have multiple Christmas items of clothing in your wardrobe.
  • You start listening to holiday music, well, already.
  • You are a professional when it comes to shopping for gifts and love it all – purchase to pretty packaging for delivery day. You may be done already. Or maybe you’re one who makes gifts for everyone on your list. I think that is meaningful, but definitely shows a higher level or ambition and organization.
  • You quite possibly stress out with all the demands and busy days of the season – on purpose, filling every free moment on your calendar, and then collapsing satisfied or let down shortly after the big day. And just before putting away the decorations.
  • Your expectations are high for the best Christmas ever – every year.
  • You send Christmas cards early and every year.
  • And what else?
    • For any of you who qualifies as a “10,” you probably do not have time to read this post, even now.
    • For those of us who observe, and love, the ambitious “10’s” around us, what did I forget that should be on the list?

Like I mentioned, I am interested in your traditions and how you are doing this year in light of the pandemic guidelines and how that impacts our mood. Hopefully, we can still enjoy the season in many ways. Please share!

  • When do you normally begin to honor Christmas? Does this year feel different?
  • Have you already begun to watch Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas movie series? Or do you plan to wait on that?
  • Have you been to Home Depot to check out the tree display? Or other retail displays of decorations?
  • When do you usually start listening to holiday tunes? What do you think about this year?
  • When do you decorate? What are your traditions with decorating? Will this year be any different?

I’m not feeling the momentum yet that sweetly builds from Halloween through the next two months and settles back down quietly by New Year’s Day. I typically make myself wait until after Halloween to begin listening to Christmas holiday music. My parents laid down that law when I was growing up. This year I don’t think I’ll be in the mood for the music that early. I do have election fatigue, pandemic fatigue, and conspiracy theory fatigue. That can stifle the mood, but I predict I’ll bounce back, possible later than usual.

From Lindsay & Letters (no longer available)

I go back and forth as a mid-range fan of Christmas fun. Lately, I am a “5,” average fan of Christmas who loves it, enjoys it, but keeps the calendar as open as possible and has toned down the decorating to quite minimal. I’m not into the gift part. In the past, I was more of a “7” or “8.” Going to Disneyland, if it were open, is part of the holiday magic for me. I also plan to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie. Or many. But not yet.

I have another post on Christmas 2020 coming soon, but for now, if you are a Christmas enthusiast early bird, I hope you’ll share your perspective in a comment.

Stay cheerful, my friends.

P.S. For a quick look at Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas: Are you a Hallmark fan at Christmas?

Are you a Hallmark fan at Christmas?